Paul Sykes has signed a new one-year contract that will keep him at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats until the end of next season.
The 32-year-old, who is currently out injured with a broken leg, was out-of-contract at the end of this year but his performances in the red, white and blue before his setback have been good enough to warrant a new deal.
Sykes, who impressed on a loan deal from Bradford Bulls last season before penning a permanent one-year stay, suffered his potentially season-ending injury in Wildcats’ victory over Widnes Vikings last month and Wakefield have lost all three matches since.
The half-back is still hoping for a return to action this season but admits he is delighted to get another season and a chance to start a fresh in 2014.
“It’s been a bit of an up and down season personally,” he said. “I’m looking forward to starting a fresh next year and try and stay the full season injury-free.
“After the first injury [earlier this season] I got back playing and I was just starting to get my fitness back and then I go and break my leg, so it’s pretty frustrating because I’ve been pretty lucky up until this year with injuries. I’ll look forward to getting all things right for next year.”
He continued: “When you’re watching the lads play it’s a bit frustrating because you want to be out there so it probably does make your appetite a little bit hungrier so that’s why I’ll be looking forward to it next year.”
Sykes has made 16 appearances for Wildcats this season and chipped in with five tries along the way.
His commitment to the Wakefield cause follows-on from players such as skipper Danny Kirmond, Dean Collis and Chris Annakin penning extended stays this season, as well as Paul Aiton and Ben Cockayne last year.
Wildcats have been working hard to keep the core of a largely successful squad together and Sykes believes that can only be a good thing for the club.
“We have got a strong, tight-knit bunch of lads, they’re probably the best lads I’ve ever played with,” he said.
“It’s good for the club that all the boys are staying for next year and for the foreseeable future.”
Sykes has been hobbling around the Rapid Solicitors Stadium on crutches in recent weeks but had his pot taken off his leg this week and has started his rehab with the hope of returning in the last couple of matches this season.
He said: “I’m going to try and get back hopefully for the last couple of games. If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t I’ll focus on next year.”
Regardless of whether he can make a swift return this season, Sykes says his teammates have not given up on the top-eight and will fight right until its mathematically impossible to break into the play-offs.
“We want to finish strongly,” he commented. “We’ve been playing well but not getting the wins.
“There have been a few lapses in concentration and some unforced errors that’s just let us down and we’ve been losing games by two points and four points. If we can turn that around it’ll work in our favour. They want to finish the season strong and get as many wins as they can to finish.”